- Associated Press - Sunday, August 28, 2011

SEATTLE (AP) - Michael Pineda put together another solid outing, flashing the stuff and command that earned him an All-Star appearance in his first season in the majors.

Pineda went six innings, allowing just two runs and three hits while striking out eight.

Unfortunately for the Seattle Mariners, Chicago’s John Danks was better.

He threw a three-hitter and struck out 10 as Chicago shut down the Mariners 3-0 on Saturday night.

“I saw him a lot when I was in Cleveland and that was as good as I’ve seen him,” Seattle manager Eric Wedge said of Danks. “He had good tempo, good stuff and spotted his fastballs as well as any starting pitcher we’ve seen. He was cutting the ball, good arm action on his changeup, he really threw a good ball game.”

Pineda (9-8) retired the first nine batters while racking up five strikeouts through the first three innings.

All the damage against Pineda came in the fourth inning. Consecutive singles by Juan Pierre and Alejandro De Aza put runners on the corners. Paul Konerko worked a full count and looped a soft single into left field to score Pierre and move De Aza to third. Alexei Ramirez followed with a sacrifice fly to center to give the White Sox a 2-0 lead.

“He was really good,” Wedge said. “Live arm, commanded the ball, threw some real good breaking balls.”

Pineda hit a rough stretch beginning right before the All-Star break. He allowed four or more earned runs in four of his five starts between June 28 and July 24. For a pitcher in his first season who is being carefully monitored by the organization on his innings for the season, Pineda looked to be running out of steam.

Instead, Pineda has buckled down and fought through the struggles to get back to the form he showed in the first half of the year. He has allowed three or fewer runs and thrown at least six innings in four of his last five starts.

“He is staying strong as we get to the end of August and into September,” Wedge said. “Everything is still working very well for him.”

Brendan Ryan drew a one-out walk in the sixth inning and Ichiro Suzuki followed with an infield single to give the Mariners their first runner in scoring position all night. Danks bounced back by getting Franklin Gutierrez on a called third strike and Dustin Ackley flew out to left field to end the threat.

It was Danks‘ third straight start of six-plus innings while allowing two or fewer runs. It was also his second complete game of the year and second career shutout. His 10 strikeouts matched a career high.

Danks (6-9) retired 16 of the first 17 batters. Kyle Seager’s soft groundball back up the middle in the third gave Seattle its only baserunner through the first five innings.

“You see why he is having so much success lately,” Seager said. “He is a tough guy to pick up, he has good stuff and he locates very well. He threw the ball real well tonight.”

De Aza added a solo home run in the eighth inning off Chance Ruffin.

Notes: The White Sox placed OF Carlos Quentin on the 15-day DL and recalled 3B Dayan Viciedo from Triple-A Charlotte. Viciedo was not in the starting lineup Saturday but manager Ozzie Guillen said he will start Sunday and that “he’s here to play.” … CF Alex Rios was scratched from the lineup due to a bruised left hand. X-rays were negative. Rios is listed as day-to-day. He was replaced in the lineup by Brent Lillibridge. Rios came on as a defensive replacement in the ninth inning. … Chicago’s Gavin Floyd (11-10) faces Jason Vargas (7-11) as the White Sox look for a series sweep on Sunday.

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